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Coach Andy's Hitting E-zine, #33 - Some Hitting Drills
September 15, 2006

Some Hitting Drills

Thanks for the response to the call for some hitting drills.

Here are some of the hitting drills I use in my lessons. One was submitted by William Lester, so I'll let him tell it.

Paddle Ball Drill

How many people needed: 1
Equipment Needed: Bat, Regular balls
Area needed: Just enough to swing
Type of Supervision needed: No supervision needed
Description of the drill: Paddle-Ball-Can be done anytime, anywhere. With the bat in one hand, count how many times you can bounce the ball off of the bat. You may need to choke up on the bat to start with and make sure you switch hands, but in time you'll develop strong forearms, wrist, great bat control, and hand-eye coordination. The kids have fun competing against each other and we even found them doing it on their own anytime they had "down time" i.e waiting their time in cage, in the dugout, etc.

Coach Andy's Comments: I love to use this drill for kids and encourage them to beat their best score. But I also use it to teach two other hitting lessons.

1) The kids will find out that holding the bat away from the knob will give them a better score, i.e. more bat control, so when you come up to bat and need that extra control, say when you have 2 strikes on you, it might be better to choke up a little.

2) This is also a good lesson for bunting the ball, as you have the most control about 1/2 way up the bat, the same place you want your top hand to be when you're bunting.

Rope Line Drill

This is a drill I submitted myself.

How many people needed: 1
Equipment Needed: Bat, Regular balls, Whiffle balls, Golfball size whiffles, Batting Tee, A Cord or Rope, and hooks
Area needed: Cage area (possibly other areas, see notes in drill itself)
Type of Supervision needed: Coach
Description of the drill: This drill is for rotational swinging baseball players. This is for people that have an area that's at least as long as the pitcher's mound to home plate. 46' for LL age and 60'6" for the older ages. (a batting cage is perfect for this or just anywhere you can stretch a line that distance (Then you'd need 2 extra poles or items to tie the line to. i.e. a tree, etc.)

You'll need 50' of cord for the smaller drill or 65' or longer for the other. I used a bungee or truck tie down to hook my cord to one end of the cage at the height of the release point of a kid the age you will face. Then keeping the line straight through the middle of the strike zone, attach it to the back of the cage. (This can be moved around to simulate low and outside or high and inside, etc.)

They can take dry swings at first, then hit off the tee, and possibly moving it to toss. You do this by having the batter take their swings so that they stay in contact with the rope the longest, demonstrating to themselves the proper plane to swing to get the maximum hitting zone (and the slight upward angle will also take the ball to the outfield.)

I know others who have done this drill without the full length, but then you need to make sure you have the proper angle and since I have the room, it gives the perfect visual for the kid.

Won't you please submit a drill for others to enjoy? Do it here

Baseball Movie Alert

I always like baseball movies and today opens an animated one, so it's perfect for the whole family. It's called Everyone's Hero.

I haven't seen it yet, but I have a great review for you from the Washington Post:

Everyone's Hero THE FAMILY FILMGOER (R) by Jane Horwitz

In this likable, if unexceptional computer-animated fable, a Depression-era kid named Yankee Irving (voice of Jake T. Austin) goes on a hero's journey to restore Babe Ruth's stolen bat. It is a character-rich story that ought to appeal to kids 6 and older, with comically harrowing chases, gross jokes about a "booger ball" pitch and bean digestion, scenes showing Yankee Irving's worried parents and a gratuitous dig at Eleanor Roosevelt that kids won't get. Accompanying the 10-year-old hero on his trip from New York to Chicago, where the Yankees are playing the Cubs in a crucial World Series game, are a talking baseball named Screwie (Rob Reiner) and the Babe's (Brian Dennehy) lucky bat, Darlin' (Whoopi Goldberg), who also talks. Only Yankee Irving can hear them or see their faces. He finds Screwie in his neighborhood sandlot, where the kids always ridicule Yankee's batting skills. He and Screwie rescue Darlin' from a crooked Cubs pitcher (William H. Macy) who steals the bat from the Yankees' locker room. Yankee Irving's dad (Mandy Patinkin) loses his job as custodian at Yankee Stadium because of it, and the boy's mission is to restore his dad's name. The film's 1930s atmosphere (it was directed by Christopher Reeve until his death, then completed by Colin Brady and Dan St. Pierre) is evocative without laying it on too thick. Negro League players also help Yankee Irving on his journey. Kids may need explanations about both the Depression and the Negro Leagues.

2006 The Washington Post Company

Get Ready for Next Year this Fall

I can't stress enough how fall and winter, not spring and summer while you're playing, is the real time to get better at baseball or softball.

Many areas have recreational fall ball leagues and there are some tournaments around as well.

You may have to take the initiative to find these leagues and teams to try to get on one.

Plus you can always work on your game by just practicing. In my last newsletter or two I may have painted the picture that my 10 year old was a little lazy, because of his TV watching, but I have to tell you that he has done something that will almost guarantee his success for the next season, which any of you can do too.

He has worked out in the cage (alright, so not everybody has a cage next to their house, but you can go to the park), both pitching and hitting 6 days a week ever since the last out of last season, back in June!

Try some hitting drills listed here and on the website, as well as the recommended reading I mentioned in one of the last newsletters or some of the videos found on the website.

Play catch, take some grounders, hit the ball around. Do something, anything. The more you do than the others do, will put you that much further up the skill chain.

A Couple of Cute Stories

I have been playing around with my copywriting skills and came up with a couple of cute stories taken from the experiences of a couple of the kids that I coach.

These stories have been approved by the kids and their parents, so if you're curious to hear what they had to say go here for what one of my young baseball students had to say

and/or here's what one of my teenage softball students had to say.

Again, if you have any questions or comments you can write to me via e-mail.

To see what I was talking about or referring to in past newsletters, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003


Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced a new hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods.

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